Russian envoy exits Israeli parliament meeting over war criticism

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Russian Ambassador to Israel Anatoly Viktorov gives a statement to the media at the Russian Consulate in Tel Aviv, Israel, on March 3, 2022.
Avshalom Sassoni‎‏/Flash90Russian Ambassador to Israel Anatoly Viktorov gives a statement to the media at the Russian Consulate in Tel Aviv, Israel, on March 3, 2022.

A Knesset member called the war in Ukraine a 'slap in the face for our grandparents who fought the Nazis'

Russia's ambassador to Israel, Anatoly Viktorov, reportedly left the Israeli parliament (Knesset) plenum after members criticized Russia for the invasion of Ukraine during Victory Day celebrations, Israeli media reported Tuesday. 

One of the Knesset members who criticized Russia was a member of Yisrael Beytenu, Ukrainian-born Evgeny Sova, according to Israel's Channel 12. Sova reportedly called the war in Ukraine a "slap in the face for our grandparents who fought the Nazis."

After several members of Knesset began speaking on the ongoing war, the ambassador reportedly left the plenum. 

This comes shortly after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that just because Ukraine’s leader is Jewish does not negate Moscow’s claimed purpose to “denazify” the country, a comment President Vladimir Putin apologized for. 

“So what if Zelensky is Jewish. The fact does not negate the Nazi elements in Ukraine. I believe that Hitler also had Jewish blood,” Lavrov said, adding that “some of the worst antisemites are Jews.”

According to Bennett's office, Putin spoke with Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett shortly after the widely condemned comments

Bennett himself condemned the comments, saying, according to a tweet from the Prime Minister's Office, "I view with utmost severity the Russian Foreign Minister's statement. His words are untrue, and their intentions are wrong."

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